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Burglary and Intrusion

, Security Basics

Happy Trivia Day! Test Your Knowledge of These Random Crime Facts

Posted December 28, 2022 by Cove

Man in red hoodie scrolling his phone in front of a computer screen with a graph chart.

Did you know that January 4th is National Trivia Day? Now you do. What better way to celebrate the holiday than testing your knowledge on some trivia. And not just any trivia, the best trivia: crime facts. If the popularity of murder mysteries and true crime are any indication, you may be able to answer a fair amount of the crime trivia below.

But this begs the question: why are people so curious (dare we say obsessed) with crime? That’s a trivia question that’s harder to answer. Maybe it’s because exploring crimes dives into the minds of dangerous people, and we want to know how their brains tick. So, without further ado, it’s time to test your knowledge of random crime facts.

Serial is a popular true crime podcast.

What is the most popular true crime podcast?

Answer: Serial

True crime podcasts have exploded in popularity, with people glued to real-life whodunits told in a series format that keeps audiences wanting more. One podcast that does this extremely well is Serial. Its 2014 debut coincided with the advent of podcasts, so the show is doubly cool.

In the premiere of Serial, host Sarah Koenig investigated the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, specifically at whether Adnan Syed, who was serving a life sentence, was indeed the killer. The host took listeners along episode after episode.

Sunset with bright yellow, orange, reds.

How does temperature impact crime rates?

Answer: Crime rises with the temperature

Police departments across the country have long braced for the uptick in crime when the weather gets warmer. And there have even been recent studies that prove it, like one from the University of California showing a 5.7 percent increase in violent crime on days over 85 degrees.

There could be many factors contributing to this: more daylight hours, people are out of the house and interacting with others more, some may be drinking more alcohol, and there is also a link between heat and aggressive behavior.

Police tape up in front of a crime scene.

Out of home invasions that are reported, how many are solved by police?

Answer: 13%

About half of home invasion incidents are reported to police, and only about 13 percent are solved by police. Police forces are typically stretched thin and focus on violent crimes like murder, assault, etc. Plus, if homeowners don’t see the criminal or there is no evidence left behind, it’s hard to move forward in an investigation.

Old Faithful blowing at Yellowstone National Park.

A “legal murder zone” exists in which national park?

Answer: Yellowstone

This is one of those weird facts that really makes people scratch their heads. While most of Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming, there is a 50-mile section within Idaho. Nobody lives there, meaning no jury pool. So, if someone committed murder and went on trial and evoked their Sixth Amendment right to be tried in front of a jury from the state AND district where the crime occured, the jury box would be empty.

Ultimately, a trial by jury would be impossible, meaning they could potentially get away with murder. Weird, right? But this bit of trivia could thankfully be a thing of the past if this legal loophole gets closed. An Idaho legislator is currently trying to get Congress to officially close the matter.

Reclined orange dentist chair in a dental office.

A person of which profession invented the electric chair?

Answer: Dentist

Okay, this nugget is on the macabre side. But doesn’t an electric chair invented by a dentist just make sense? In the late 1800s, Dr. Alfred P Southwick of New York Southwick witnessed the death of someone by accidental electrocution. He thought that to be a more humane method of execution (many people didn’t agree). Southwick altered a dentist chair to do the job and tested it on animals before the chair made its debut on death row.

As if that bit of trivia is not weird enough, there’s more. While developing the electric chair, Southwick consulted with Thomas Edison, who backed Direct Current (electricity that flows constant in one direction). Taking advantage of public outrage about death by electrocution, Edison hoped to attempt to thwart his competitor, George Westinghouse, who backed Alternating Current (electricity that alternates in direction and switches between positive and negative).

Edison secretly had the electric chair powered with Alternating Current in an attempt to show people it was more dangerous than Direct Current. In the end, the stunt didn’t work for Edison. But, the electric chair lived on.

Ford truck on a dirt road with trees.

What is the most commonly stolen vehicle?

Answer: 2006 Ford F-150

This is a more recent development, as the previous most commonly stolen vehicle was a Honda Accord. But apparently the taste and needs of thieves changes over the years, because now a pick up truck is in the top spot for stolen vehicles. Why? There could be many reasons, from ease of stealing, to the number of trucks out there, to the usefulness of a truck.

Left hand straight up as a fist.

Are more criminals right or left handed?

Answer: Left

While only about 10 percent of the population are left-handed, a whopping 30 percent of criminals are left handed. The jury is still out on why this is the case, so for now it’s chalked up as one of those interesting factoids. Plenty of famous criminals were left-handed, from Jack the Ripper to the Boston Strangler to Osama bin Laden to Ted Bundy.

A bunch of red dried chili peppers hanging upside down tied to a rustic wood pillar.

Which state had the highest burglary rate in 2020?

Answer: New Mexico

While 2020 wasn’t a great year for anyone, those living in New Mexico saw higher burglary rates than any other state with 648.8 occurrences per 100,000 residents. By comparison, the lowest state was Oklahoma, with 613.3 incidents per 100,000 residents.

Cove's home security cameras and panel on a table.

How much more likely are criminals to burglarize a home without a home security system?

Answer: 300%

Out of all the houses to break into, you can bet criminals will go the easy route. A major factor that deters thieves from hitting one home from another is a security system. Why risk getting caught if you can move onto a less protected home?

Helping this statistic is the fact that only about 17 percent of homes have security systems. That’s why Cove focuses on making home security as simple as possible. Cove’s equipment is affordable, the monitoring service requires no contracts, and the DIY installation is a breeze. Take our quiz to get started.

How did you do? How many did you answer correctly? Even if you didn’t get them right, hopefully you learned something and will remember them next time you play a trivia game or want to impress friends with your knowledge of crime. Here’s a bit of advice for you: maybe sprinkle a few non-crime facts in so as not to alarm anyone.

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